Photograph of Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann.

Albert Hofmann

(1906 - 2008)

Albert Hofmann grew up near the remains of a castle, a “child’s paradise,” where “the wonder of creation revealed itself” to him “during enchanted moments.” Having received his PhD in chemistry at the age of twenty-three in 1929, Hofmann began work at Sandoz Pharmaceutical Laboratories, first synthesizing LSD-25 in 1938 while researching the stimulant effects of ergot fungus. Of his first contact with the substance, he said it was like “the same experience I had had as a child.” Hofmann also produced the first synthesis of psilocybin and psilocin, the hallucinogenic compounds in “magic” mushrooms. He died at the age of 102 in 2008; he had taken his last dose of LSD five years earlier. 

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